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amy_ryan23

Endless Summer didn't bloom last year...

7 years ago
last modified: 7 years ago

So I have 3 ES in the front of my house. Last summer was year 3. Its an area very prone to weeds (previous owners let it get very overgrown. We pulled everything out and started over). So last year my brilliant self decided to put preen down to deal with the weeds because they are THAT overwhelming and tiny=difficult to pull. Weeds were kept at bay, fantastic. But my ES didn't bloom at all until the end of summer and just after the magic 3 month mark where the preen wears off.

Did I good things up myself last year by using the preen? Anyone have any other suggestions for dealing with the weeds without harming my hydrangea?

Comments (39)

  • 7 years ago

    Amy, where are you? Nearest big city and zone (here's a link to look up your zone) is helpful.

    Preen is a preemergent, so it will keep weed seeds from sprouting, that's all. I has no effect on established weeds or established plants. Instead of a preemergent like Preen, I put down mulch which helps keep moisture even as well as making any weeds that occur easier to pull, but I get very few weeds.

    Look at threads here on winter protection of Hydrangea macrophylla and decide if you want to do that. Otherwise, this is a shrub that will often get killed back to the ground in colder areas and will only bloom once the plant has regrown and set new flower buds, usually some time after mid-summer.

    If this is an area where you want a bunch of flowers without having to fuss, the smaller Hydrangea paniculata types might be better. Bobo, Little Lime and Little Quickfire are a few that are similar in size, though you would want to research to find what fits best on your site. H. paniculata is quite hardy and easy care. Mine here in NH start some blooming time in July (ranging from before the 4th to near month's end, depending on the variety) and continue nonstop until frost.

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  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have no experience with preen, but I had several Endless Summer Hydrangeas that would not bloom until the end of Summer. And then only sparsely.

    They were getting too much Sun. I moved them to a shadier location that Winter and they rewarded me all the following Summer.

  • 7 years ago

    Okay, well I'm at least relieved that the Preen didn't cause it. I was mad about that for most of last summer. Plus I get to still use the preen because that really did take care of my weeds issue. My hydrangea get morning sun but are about 90% shaded from the hot afternoon sun because of a large tree. I guess we will see what this year brings.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago
  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have an endless summer and last year was my first with it and over the winter I had covered it by flattening with cardboard and it started blooming in May but was done by June and didn't reproduce any more flowers the rest of the year. So basically it only bloomed on the old wood and the new wood just produced greenery. I didnt like the way it looked with just greenery most the summer, so I moved it to my backyard and didnt cover it this year and there are only a few buds at the base and I have a feeling it won't flower.

  • 7 years ago

    Amy I'm in northern Illinois zone 5b and have two Endless summer in my front yard. They have been with me for 9 years and I moved them from my old house because they are a part of me at this point!:) I can tell you that cutting them back all the way prevented mine from flowering. I let them be until the leaves come back in the spring and fill up, then trim the dead wood. I get tons of large blooms and healthy foliage. I add compost and manure in the spring and fertilize lightly with holly tone.

  • 7 years ago

    That's where I am as well. I'll try that this year. Thanks!

  • 7 years ago

    My Endless Summer didn't bloom until September last year in central eastern Iowa

  • 7 years ago

    Good to know!

  • 7 years ago

    Hi! Just wanted to update that my Endless Summer are full of flower heads. I did cover them every night at the end of April since we seemed to have frost non-stop. The nursery's owner told me that endless summer is known to them as Endless Bummer because of their unreliable blooms; praying to have the summer part and never them bummer one;-)

  • 7 years ago

    I'm one of the Endless Summer owners that never gets blooms..just want to get your story straight..where is it planted?..east facing?..sheltered?..covered during the winter?..and you did protect from spring freezes..I dug mine up last fall and potted them..overwintered in my shed..they were small and pathetic so I did not expect any blooms this summer..figured they would be growing roots..but one has a bloom coming..

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi! Mine are in front of my house along the foundation. I only have a half porch so they aren't sheltered. I get eastern exposure and they get sun from sunrise to about 1pm. I do cover them with leaves and burlap for the winter and this last April I had to cover them every night due to frosts. I've only had them not bloom once, but after talking to the nursery owner, I guess it isn't uncommon for these guys. She recommmended the BOBO due to its reliable blooms and neat mound shape. I hope you get good results with potting them; a lot of people only choose to keep them that way for best results.

  • 7 years ago

    I knew it!..only because you have an ideal planting location and make an effort to protect them that you're successful..good for you :-) my pots are working out too..it's a hassle but I'm going to have blooms!..Annabelles are reliable..if you haven't tried them I would if I were you..

  • 7 years ago

    Nicholsworth55, LOL! My husband says if I treated him like I do my hydrangeas, he would be the happiest most pampered man in the world...a bit dramatic if you ask me;-). I just planted two Annabelles after freeing up some space and can't wait!! My neighbor, btw, has the most beautiful lacecap hydrangea I've ever seen, in a container. She tried planting it and started to go downhill, so it must prefer being potted.

  • 7 years ago

    Your husband's funny!!..my husband whines because I need him to drag these pots in and out..and he acts like he owns the shed and I'm in "his space"..he's actually neat and organized and worries that the pots will get dirt, water or bugs in the shed (which could happen)..but he tolerates my craziness thank goodness..I'll post some pics when my pots bloom..love to see pics of yours too..

  • 7 years ago

    He's a good man! I will post a picture soon!

  • 7 years ago

    Not exactly on topic: you can get Preen with fertilizer. I wonder if that would push too much vegetative growth on shrubs at the expense of flowers? Or would it depend on what x-x-x fertilizer is? (I think it's nitrogen, phosphorus and phosphate but can't remember the order... )

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    This year I have tried Preen with fertilizer because it came in a larger container than MiracleGro Shake n Feed. So far (on not just ES) there appears to be somewhat FEWER BUDS ON NEW GROWTH. That being said, agreed, some ES and kin (David Ramsey etc) did not bloom UNTIL the canes reached a height of 4' last season. And that was around October! Some were still in broccoli stage when the first frost hit. No good!

    This is leading me to a revised strategy.

    Now that most H's new canes are between 6-12" tall at the moment, I'm going to try pinching the growing tips and then hitting the plants with a dose of Scott's Super Bloom (high phosphorus).

    I hope this strategy at least numerically doubles the chances of flowering.

  • 7 years ago

    Manur83...ugh! Really?? Mine are barely knee high at this point and certainly only leaves. I have southern exposure but a large tree in front so they get about a half day of sun.

  • 7 years ago

    I didn't comment on Preen because I've never used it and have no experience with it. My landscaper that helps with trimming and lawn, told me to use cornmeal before mulching (as in no mulch at all when applying) and I can tell you that took care of a major weed problem (our house was a foreclosure). Springwood and Marie, something to remember is too much fertilizer will get you abundant foliage and no blooms. I also shy away from a general fertilizer because over time they build too much of a certain mineral and then cause a completely different problem. The lady at the nursery mentioned a nice dose of iron seemed to help her customers with bringing back blooms on ES. I already used holly tone and manure so I'll skip that 'till next year, but it wouldn't hurt to try.

  • 7 years ago

    AMR 625, mine aren't tall at all so I'm very surprised to see so many bloom heads already! I've noticed that chicken compost manure has really improved my hydrangeas and maybe this is a result?? Curious to hear what Luis thinks:)

  • 7 years ago

    Sounds like I need to find some fertilizer to help them along.

  • 7 years ago

    So this are my ES. I took the pic from the top but height is about 2 1/2 ft right now. This is their second year of being transplanted so they are still starting small.

  • 7 years ago

    Wow, it's pouring here right now but mine are much much smaller. Third year. Although as I loook out the window at them I see a bud on two of the three bushes!

  • 7 years ago

    Manur83..your ES have nice shapes..3 of my pots..#1 ES- no blooms funny shape #2 Bloomstruck #3 need to find tag

    #3 has some yellowing leaves on the left side about 8" from the top..see?..would anyone know why?

  • 7 years ago

    Nicholsworth55 those are really nice looking hydrangeas! I see Bloomstruck being sold everywhere! Yours is looking great, I may need to pick one up. I see your ES has no blooms, fingers crossed it'll start later than the other two. Maybe try the iron trick?

    AMR, these hydrangeas are old and before transplanting them, they were enormous! Maybe try some winter protection this year and see how they do next spring? They may comeback faster if there isn't too much winter damage.

  • 7 years ago

    Manur83..would be worth adding to your collection..Bloomstruck has darker leaves and red stems which I like..I've seen a lot of them here too..I put some Milorganite on them and it has iron..that ES was small when I potted it fall 2016..think it's developing roots..maybe next year blooms..

  • 7 years ago

    Bloomstruck is a slow starter from small purchased sizes, but eventually gets going quite nicely. Its buds also survive much harsher freezing conditions.

  • 6 years ago

    Manur83...could you help? In the top picture of the the 2 you posted above...on the lower right side is a plant with a lighter colour green in the middle of it...looks like it could be 1/2" to an 1" in size. Don't laugh, but is that a Bud? We have many things like that on each of our 2 plants. Each of these have a lot of small, round, green growths (they kind of look like a bunch of green beebees but smaller. Hard to describe. Anyway, this our 3rd summer with "Bloomstruck". They've never flowered. We've not seen these growths before. I'm wondering, are these actually buds or whatever which could eventually lead to flowers, maybe...I hope. There are a lot of them on each plant. Thanks.

  • 6 years ago

    Terry, there are flower buds in Manur83's first photo, and you can see some also in Nicholsworth's last photo, which also has some more advanced flowers. The buds are sometimes referred to as being in the broccoli stage since they sort of resemble broccoli (which are also flower buds.)

  • 6 years ago

    Broccoli, of course, perfect description. Ours aren't as big as in the pictures above... we are north of MN so a bit behind weatherwise. But sounds like we have buds anyway, hopefully flowers to come. Thanks very much NHBabs.

  • 6 years ago

    Like NHBabs said, blooms. I'm sorry your bloomstruck hasn't flowered in three years!! I can tell you all of mine have at least put out blooms aside from the ones the come with by the second year, but I don't have any bloomstruck. Were they tiny when you purchased them? If so, maybe the are focusing on growth? I bought two all summer beauty online (first time) and they are so tiny I don't expect blooms for a long while. Are you fertilizing and watering appropriately? Too much fertilizer will keep them from blooming same goes for little water. My neighbor told me she got her endless summer which was stuck at just a few leaves to grow this year by adding alfalfa, but I haven't tried that on my hydrangeas. I do use it on my bushes and roses and they seem pretty happy so maybe that could help. Also, the nursery I go to said iron was good for blooming.

  • 6 years ago

    Hi Manur83. Thanks for taking the time to reply. They have been 2 summers without blooms, hopefully this, their 3rd year. I suspect we have been impatient. My wife says they came in small containers and they weren't very big in spring of '15 when they were planted but they grew nicely. Last summer (their 2nd) they were a little taller, nice green leaves, healthy looking but no sign of buds or flowers. Like you say, maybe they were focusing on growth and we've probably been expecting too much. This spring, now, the leaves look very healthy AND we have buds. Making progress :-). Fertilizing...each spring, just as most stuff is starting to come up, we give all plants a healthy dose of bone meal which apparently is very high in phosphorous. But I'm sort of torn whether to fertilize any more. Did go to Endless summer web site and they recommend a high phosphorous fertilizer for "BloomStruck" late spring early summer. We gave them Bone Meal early spring. I don't know whether to give them another shot of fertilizer or not, now or later in the season...or what to give them. I'm thinking, maybe some rose food 18-24-16 in about 3 weeks... High in phosphorous with some iron. But not sure. If you or others have thoughts on this, would like to hear them! We have Annabelle's in 3 locations in our yard, and they do fantastic with nothing but Bone Meal in the Spring and water. The ES plant's card says to "keep soil evenly moist" whatever that means. So keeping an eye on that making sure the soil doesn't get dry. We are hopeful of getting flowers this year, would be nice. Thanks for your comments.

  • 6 years ago

    I'm not sure Rose fertilizer is a good idea. You want one for hydrangea or an all purpose fertilizer. I've used Osmocote in the past and now use Espoma Holly tone. I'm also a big composted manure fan in the spring and can tell you chicken one has given me the best results. I water my ES once a week for about 15min slow and deep, the water just a trickle at the base of the plant since my soil remains moist. On hot days, I water more aloften after the get shade. Great to hear your Annabelles are doing great. I just bought my first this spring and it's really struggling:(

  • 6 years ago

    Hi Manur83. Thanks again. I'm reading all kinds of conflicting advice about the fertilizing of ES. Think we are going to treat them like the Annabelles which have been thriving for 20 years. Bonemeal in the spring (which the ES got) and that's it. Too much fertilizer can do more harm than good from what I'm reading. Rose food is out. Think we will mulch them with something organic to help retain moisture. I have one of those water moisture measuring tools which I'll use to keep an eye on things. I hope your Annabelle does OK...ours didn't do much first year and now they've multiplied like crazy. Thanks

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I have three ES Original, Bloomstruck and TnS. They have been planted in the ground for about 1 year ( south facing in relatively close proximity to each other). Original has about 7 blooms with a lot of winter kill while the TnS has fewer dieback and a few more blooms on it than the Original. The best one with less winter kill and loaded with blooms (on every stem)...this by far the best re-bloomer. All of them just started opening this week...

  • 6 years ago

    Starlight99 happy your ES gave you blooms. ES is so high maintenance with winter protection and all that, but I love doing it. It's hard to remember that it takes 3 yrs for a plant to show you what it can do. I don't have Bloomstruck or TnS, but people love them. You say Bloomstruck is the best of all three? They are everywhere around here this year and I'm thinking I need to pick one up. Here are my ES. One did not change color this year.

  • 6 years ago

    I second the milorganite fertilizer. I use it on everything (except food). I just dump it around my hydrangeas and roses, etc. They love it and the deer hate it. If I have to buy specialty fertilizer or baby a plant beyond watering when it hasn't rained, that plant and I must part ways. I tried several macrophyllas and they were just way too temperamental. I now have pinky winky and quick fire and they are gorgeous. Only problem is that I underestimated how big they would get. But I digress. Maybe ES is not the hydrangea for you. Find one that grows well for you. There is no point at all in having flowers if they bring you stress.